How to Be Bacne-Free

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Summer is the time to wear bikinis, tank tops and outfits that tend to show a little more skin. However, for those suffering from back acne, or ‘bacne,’ those summertime outfits can turn in to a bit of a nightmare.

To treat your bacne, the first step is to get a cleanser that contains salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide or alphahydroxy acid, says Beverly Hills, CA, dermatologist Rhonda Rand, MD. If it doesn’t clear up after that, then move on to creams or gels with those same ingredients.

Since the back can be a tough area to apply products, try a spray like Glytone Back Acne Salicylic Acid Spray ($34). “It easily allows patients to treat the entire back by themselves without the need of someone else needing to rub in cream for them,” says Richland, WA, dermatologist Sidney B. Smith, MD.

If treating it on your own doesn’t work, your next step is to visit a dermatologist. They can prescribe antibiotics and Retin-A that will clear it up. A dermatologist can also do chemical peels and inject cortisone into any cysts that may develop to help them go away quicker, says Dr. Rand.

To avoid the risk of scarring, prevention is key. “Shower after working out and avoid oily products, whether it’s from sunscreens or even massage oils,” says Rand. You also want to watch out for the oils in your hair products—wash your hair over the sink so that the product doesn’t wash down your back and cause problems. 

Additionally, pay attention to your diet—with healthier diets your skin is better. It’s now known that high-glycemic (or sugary) foods can cause acne and, for some people, chocolate and dairy can be problematic too.